Brit cool turns to chill for Blair

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TONY BLAIR was "unphased" yesterday after having cold water poured on his government from the rock stars who last year were the toast of Downing Street.

Like the dousing of John Prescott at the Brit awards last month, the stars led by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp told Mr Blair that his way of ruling Britannia was decidedly "uncool".

Cocker said: "It's worse than if the Tories got in, in a way, because with the Tories you would expect the same old shit to happen." Tim Burgess of the Charlatans said there did not seem to be a great deal of difference between the old Tories and new Labour. Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds said it was "the same company but there's a different bloke in charge".

Even Alan McGee of Creation Records, who has been brought in to join a government task force, said that a lot of what Mr Blair's government was doing was making things worse.

But the Prime Minister's official spokesman yesterday dismissed their criticism as "out of tune" with the British people.

Steven Wells, a writer for NME music newspaper, said the friction between the pop world and the Government had come to a head when a bucket of water was thrown over Mr Prescott at the Brit awards. "New Labour has felt able to use the credibility and the cache of Cool Britannia, which is essentially rock'n'roll, willy-nilly without actually giving us anything back in the way of policies. If you actually look at Labour policies, we've been stabbed in the back again and again."

But Downing Street was whistling through the cold shower of disillusionment. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said of Mr Blair: "He has talked about a post-euphoria, pre-delivery phase and that is the phase we are in."